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8 Great Lies That America (and some of the world) Has Embraced

#8 The Separation of Church and State

Pastor Gary Buchman
Emmitsburg Community Bible Church

(3/26) When God brought Moses and the Israelites out of Egypt, He gave to them holidays and ordinances so they would never forget who He is and what He has done or His purpose for them. The weekly and special Sabbaths, the Day of Atonement, Passover, First Fruits, Pentecost, Tabernacles, to which were added Purim because of Esther and God’s saving the Jews and Hanukkah because of the Maccabean cleansing of the Temple and the miraculous burning the menorah. All of these and more were designed so the Jews would never forget God and go after other gods or presume they didn’t need God (Read Deut. 8:8-20). In chs.4-6 He says, parents and grandparents teach this stuff to your children.

When Joshua led Israel through the Jordan River and before they finished crossing he commanded that each of the 12 tribes pick up a big stone as they passed through the Jordan much like they predecessors did the Red Sea 40 years prior. They were then instructed to pile the stones up as a memorial monument to what God had done and what He is doing (Read Joshua 4:4-9; 20-24).

But sadly, Israel constantly did not remember their God and God’s promise in Deut. 8 was that if they forget they would be crushed like the nations they were crushing. A contemporary of Isaiah was Hosea. Both were preaching to Israel in the 8th century B.C. just prior to Assyria’s invasion of their land and God says this,

"Yet I am the Lord your God Ever since the land of Egypt, and you shall know no God but Me; for there is no savior besides Me. I knew you in the wilderness, in the land of great drought. 6 When they had pasture, they were filled; They were filled and their heart was exalted; Therefore they forgot Me (Hosea 13:4-6).

It was during the time of Passover that our Lord used that memorial feast to give us another. We call it the Lord’s Supper, Communion, the Eucharist, etc. This was to be a means of remembering, who we are, and whose we are, and the love and grace that rescued and adopted us and made us heirs of Heaven. It is a reminder that the God who created us is personally involved and committed to us. It was not intended to fill our stomachs but to remind our mind and souls that we are not of this world, we belong to an eternal kingdom and our allegiance is to our King. It does not make you Holy, nor infer any grace, it just reminds you that your position with Him was and is because He was willing to become as you so he could die for you and give you the gift of forgiveness and life eternal. Let’s remember now.


We have come to the last of our 8 Great Lies that America has Embraced. That is, the Separation of Church and State. Let remind you again, the words of our Lord Jesus who said, "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it." (John 8:44)

John says in Rev. 12:9, that His goal is, "to deceive the whole world." What follows will be different from any sermon I have ever delivered in over 33 years.

The separation of Church and State is a Great Lie that our Country has bought into as I wish to try to demonstrate to you in these next few moments. For the first 175 years of our nations existence, there were occasional groups that did not want religion to be part of government or education, but the courts including the Supreme Court always sided with religion and even in the 1950’s stated that we are a religious people, in 1896, the Supreme Court even said that we are a Christian Nation. But a major crack in the wall started in 1947. Prior to that time, the first Amendment, and the first of that Amendment which says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….," had always been applied to the Federal Government, but the states had the right to encourage religion, until a New Jersey case, Everson v. Board of Education, was brought before the Supreme Court to stop the state from using tax payers money to transport Children to Private religious schools. The States right was upheld but only by a 5-4 decision. And for the first time the separation of Church and State phrase was used to try to stop the state.

In the 1950’s a school district in New York formulated a prayer to be recited each day in that district that went like this, "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country." Notice there is no mention of Jesus. Look at those words carefully. The Acknowledgment of a Mighty God, upon whom we are dependent, asking His blessings upon us (students), our parents, our teachers, and our country. Who would object to such a prayer? But someone did. In 1962 in a case called, ENGEL v. VITALE, the Supreme Court again heard the separation of Church and State, and this time sided with the plaintiff and prayer in school was deemed unconstitutional. Madalyn Murray then took the Baltimore Schools to court for reading the Lord’s Prayer in school, but it was in 1963- the Abington School District v. Schempp ruling that made the corporate reading of the Bible and recitation of the Lord`s Prayer unlawful in public schools. And the Battle Cry was that Congress had established a Wall of Separation between Church and State. But is that what the 1st Amendment says, let’s look again, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….," Where do you see the words, Wall of Separation of Church and State? They appear nowhere in the Constitution. Remember what Francis Bacon the 16th century philosopher and statesman said, "People prefer to believe what they prefer to be true." Adolf Hitler said, "Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it."

Let’s review our some of our history. Now we could spend an entire school year on this, not just Sundays but 5 days a week. This is just a brief overview. David Barton of Wall Builders has done an excellent job in researching and putting all of this and much more in book and DVD forms. But it isn’t just David Barton, this is stuff you can discover for your selves with a little effort. Stuff no one is going to teach you on TV or in most classrooms. History has been revised to fit the current philosophy and to eliminate God from our history.

Columbus did not look for a new trade route to India because he believed the world is round. He believed He was on a mission from God to take the gospel to the world. Did he get sidetracked once he saw gold? Yes, but he repented later in life and all of this is on his diary that you can find at Harvard and in the Book – The Light and the Glory by Peter Marshall and David Manuel. The Pilgrims did not come to America just to start a colony but were on a church relocation mission and to take the gospel to the world for the glory of God, and that is in the Mayflower Compact, not the revised one but the one the pilgrims signed. The first Thanksgiving was not to thank the Indians for helping them through the winter, though the Indians attended and did help them, it was to worship and praise God, in fact, everyone was instructed to begin the day in church listening to their pastor.

The fact is that these pilgrims followed a form of theology many call Calvinism, from one of the reformers, named John Calvin, and it was their Calvinistic theology that shaped our country and our government

The Pilgrims came to America to separate themselves from the Church of England and to establish a church that was true to the Bible. The Puritans wanted to purify the national Anglican Church of England came after the Pilgrims and they too were Calvinist. What was it in Calvinism that affected our Colonists?’

1st - The belief in total depravity- That is, that Human nature is sinful and we cannot please God (since the fall of man, Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 7:18). As such man is unable to save himself from eternal damnation and can only be saved by faith in Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross. Any government had to be powerful enough to restrain the evil impulses of the people. But, rulers themselves were also subject to the same evil and therefore there had to be a system of checks and balances so that rulers do not become tyrants, hence the 3 branch government.

2nd- The Priesthood of all believers; that is, that because of Jesus' death and resurrection, there is no need for a human intermediary, but every believer can approach the throne of God in prayer and can read the scriptures. As a result public education was promoted, encouraged and provided for. In fact most colleges required that the applicant be able to read, and write converse in Greek, and some in Latin as well as English. School children learned the alphabet by memorizing scripture. I have included that from the New England Primer in your Notebooks. A – In Adam’s fall we sinned all. B – In Heaven to find the Bible mind. And so on. That was how our children learned to read for over two hundred years until the beginning of the 20th century (included at the end of sermon).

The English and the Greek were largely taught using the Bible as the text.

Many of our Ivy League schools were started, not to give M.B.A.'s or Law degrees but to train Men for the ministry; John Harvard was a young pastor that died prematurely at the of 30 and left his library and half of his estate to a new school that still bears his name. The cornerstone at Harvard still says this: "After God had carried us safely to New England, and we had built our houses, provided necessaries for our livelihood, reared convenient place for God's worship; and settled the civil government; one of the next things we longed for and looked after was to advance learning, and perpetuate it to posterity; dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust." Harvard, Yale, Princeton, William and Mary, Dartmouth were all started as ministry and missionary training schools, so that the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ would never diminish and that America would remain a Christian country.

3rd- That Biblical Law is the Basis for all Law-Because God is eternal and doesn't change His laws are eternal and absolute. The ceremonial laws were fulfilled in Christ but the moral and judicial laws were still binding upon the whole of man. This was understood as late as 1950 when President Harry Truman addressed the Attorney General's conference on law enforcement and said, "The fundamental basis of this nation's law was given to Moses on the mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teaching which we get from Exodus and Saint Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I don't think we emphasis this enough these days. If we don't have the proper fundamental moral

background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anyone but the state."

Two professors from the U. of Houston did a ten year study and published their findings in 1984. The study was to see what influenced the framers of the constitution. Professors Donald Lutz and Charles Hynemenn reviewed 15,000 items reading 2,200 books, pamphlets, newspaper articles and so on, that were published between 1760 and 1805. The two identified 3,154 references that the authors made to other sources. 34% of all thecitations were to the Bible largely from Deuteronomy (over 1050). The 2nd largest source was from the French Christian Philosopher Baron Montesquieu's and his book Spirit of Laws which emphasized that all laws must be based on God's laws. The 3' largest source came from William Blackstone, a British lawyer whose law commentaries were the standard for all early American lawyers for over 200 years and was used by the Supreme Court for over 100 years to decide court decisions. Blackstone's commentaries were so rooted in Scripture that the evangelist Charles Finney

came to faith in Christ by studying them. (Saved reading a law book!)

The idea of separation of powers was built by these two men and rooted in the verse of Isaiah 33:22, "The Lord is our Judge, The Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our King." It was from this scripture, the Bible, that we developed our Judicial, Legislative, and Executive form of government.

4th - Calvinist believe in Covenant Theology- That God gave two primary covenants to man, a covenant of law and a covenant of Grace. Hence our Bibles’-Old and New Covenants- or Old and New Testaments. The covenant of Grace is the covenant of redemption that God enters into with any one that receives Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord as we remembered by communion. The covenant of Law consists of God giving man His laws and man's promise to obey them. Under the covenant of law is government. That rulers get their authority to govern from God was from (Dan 4, Rom.13:1-7).

However they believed that government’s authority was limited to the protection of basic human rights and when that government violated that basic function it is acting without legitimate authority and should be resisted, which is the reason for the Revolutionary War. An early motto was, "Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God"

These teachings were part of the basic philosophy of education and religion of the early Americans. Principles and philosophy which whether we hold to them ourselves were the basis of the American experiment. Consider that belief in Supreme God, and creator, was also part of the early American mind set. Modem Historians say that the early Americans were Deists and pagans. Deism is the belief that God created the world and then left it to run on its own. He does not get personally involved in the affairs of man. But consider this: Of the 55 delegates to the First Constitutional Convention. 28 were Episcopalian; 8 were Presbyterian; 7 were Congregationalist; 2 were Lutheran; 2 Dutch Reformed; 2 Methodists; 2 Roman Catholics and 3 were listed as Deist. But all 3 were raised in strict Calvinistic homes and all three had studied for the ministry, (Hugh Williamson of North Carolina, James Wilson, and Benjamin Franklin both of Pennsylvania). But the older Franklin got the more He leaned to traditional Christianity. Remember that Deist did not believe that God governs in the affairs of men, yet during that convention, when it seemed that the congress was at an impasse, it was Benjamin Franklin that made this famous proposal: "In this situation of this assembly, groping, as it were, in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of Lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for the Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard—and they were graciously answered. . . . I have lived, Sir, a long time; and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that "except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that, without his concurring aid, we shall succeed in this Political building no better than the builders of Babel. . . . I therefore beg leave to move that, henceforth, prayers imploring the assistance of heaven and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service." That motion carried and chaplains were appointed.

Consider as well, Thomas Jefferson a Unitarian that did not accept the miracles of the Bible or Jesus Christ as being Divine, yet He included 4 references to God in the Declaration of Independence. And in one speech declared, "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His Justice cannot sleep forever..."(You can see that on His Memorial in Washington D.C.). By the way as a side note, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, but was not part of the writing or formation of the Constitution. He was not part of that first Congress, and never was part of any vote to ratify the constitution.

All though many today who believe in pluralism might not like to hear this, it remains true that religion and Christianity were for the most part synonymous in early America. Consider the Supreme Court decision of Church of the Holy Trinity vs. the United States, 1892, In which 87 precedents were cited, and the Supreme Court's decision stated the following, "Our Laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian...This is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation...we find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth... These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation."

12 years ago President Bush came under fire for his public display of faith in God, and for declaring Jesus to be the most influential person in His life.

U.S. News and World Report ran an article asking if the President was the President or an evangelist? Yet if you were to read the speeches by our early Presidents you would think you were reading sermons. Consider the last one by our first President and these words as He left office, "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instrument of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." (George Washington’s farewell address.) That used to be required reading but no more. Why?

John Jay, the first Supreme Court Chief Justice said, "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty ... of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."

Patrick Henry, who said, "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death," also said, "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionist, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom to worship here."

James Madison said, "We have staked the whole future of American civilization not upon the power of Government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each of each of us and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves, according to the ten commandments of God"

John Adams, "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

Noah Webster believed that since God created with words and revealed Himself to man with written words in the Bible, he felt called by God to a 20 year job of compiling a dictionary and he said this: "The religion which has introduced civil liberty, is the religion of Christ and his apostles, which enjoins humility, piety and benevolence; which acknowledges in every person a brother, or a sister, and a citizen with equal rights. This is genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free constitutions of government. The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. . . . All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible."

Do you know that one of the first acts of the new congress was to purchase and distribute 20,000 Bibles in 1777 and in 1781 congress approved the printing and distribution of the "Bible of the Revolution", one of the world's rarest books and the FIRST AMERICAN PRINTING. Would a congress opposed to religion purchase or order Bibles to be printed?

The First Amendment

The first amendment says, "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" You will note that the phrase a wall of separation between church and state do not appear there, or anywhere else in the constitution. They were first used by Baptist pastor and founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams and used in a letter by Thomas Jefferson a hundred years later in response to a group of Baptists from Danbury Conn. who wrote in concern to a rumor that President Jefferson was about to propose that the Congregationalist church would be the official church of the U.S.A. His response was, "...I contemplate with solemn reverence that act

of the whole American people which declared that their legislature 'should make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a WALL OF SEPARATION BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE." This letter was written 13 years after the constitution. Again, when the Constitution was written Jefferson was out of country, and no part of the framing of the Bill of Rights as he was serving as ambassador to France at the time. Yet this letter has been the basis of the Supreme Courts defining of the 1st Amendment. Any investigation into the framing of the 13 states individual constitutions and the large number of proposals concerning the first amendment reveals that it was not religion in general that was being discussed but Christianity and the concern that no one denomination would be preferred or established as the official sect or denomination of the U.S.A.

Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story appointed by James Madison made this comment: We are not to attribute this prohibition of a national religious establishment to an indifference to religion in general, and especially to Christianity (which none could hold in more reverence, than the framers of the Constitution). . . . Probably, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and of the amendment to it, now under consideration [the First Amendment], the general, if not the universal, sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the State . . . . An attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation."

In 1958 the Supreme Court said this, "Much has been written in recent years concerning Thomas Jefferson’s reference in 1802 to a wall of separation between Church and State. Jefferson’s figure of speech has received so much attention that one would almost think at times that it is be found somewhere in the constitution."

So what happened?

Abe Lincoln said, "The philosophy of the schoolroom today, will be the philosophy of government tomorrow." In 1859 Darwin published his books on evolution. In 1869, a major change occurred at Harvard. A new president was elected named Charles Eliot. Against protests Eliot appointed Christopher Columbus Langdell as head of the law school. Both Eliot and Langdell adopted Darwin’s beliefs. Langdell threw out Blackstone’s law books that were based on the Bible and developed the case study method of law and said that laws were evolving as man is evolving. The Philosophy of the schoolroom began to spread to the philosophy of government just as Mr. Lincoln said.

Changes began in the 20th century as the Darwinian Theory of evolution moved from theory to acceptance not only in relation to origins but to truth, morals, standards and we moved into the realm of situational ethics and Moral relativism. Woodrow Wilson predicted that this would happen in his book the New Freedom, published in 1914. Up until 1947 Christianity was taught in public schools. But William James, the father of Modern philosophy began to proclaim that teaching religion was harmful and quoted from Jefferson's letter. As did John Dewey the father of Modern Education. Dewey said, "There is no God, no soul, and no moral absolutes." The Supreme Court began in 1962 to reinterpret the constitution not according to the literal rendering and the mountains of precedents established over 175 years but according to an evolving civilization. Chief Justice Earl Warren in Trop vs. Dulles, " The words of the Amendment (here the 8th), are not precise, and that their scope not static: The Amendment must draw its meaning from the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society" The same line was used 30 years ago when Capital Punishment was challenged. Justice Brennan stated that even though capital punishment was acceptable in 1787, it is cruel and unusual by today's enlightened standards" and that the constitution must be interpreted by an evolving standard of decency."

Justice Brennan later said in a speech at Georgetown University; ". . . The genius of the Constitution rests not in any static meaning it might have had in a world that is dead and gone, but in the adaptability of its great principles to cope with current problems and current needs. What the constitutional fundamentals meant to the wisdom of other times cannot be their measure to the vision of our time. Similarly, what those fundamentals mean for us, our descendants will learn, cannot be the measure to the vision of their time."

As Evolution as replaced Creation in our schools, Humanism, Pluralism, and Darwinism has replaced Christianity in our country.

There must be separation of Church and State is a great lie and America has bought it hook, line, and sinker, Lock, Stock, and Barrel. I want to remind you once again of God’s Word in Deut. 8:19-20, "Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. 20 As the nations which the Lord destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the Lord your God.

The whole prophecy of Jeremiah reads like a prophecy against the United States. Listen to these words from Jeremiah 18:7-10, "The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, 8 if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. 9 And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, 10 if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it."

So what can we do?

1. Remember – We – are the Church of Jesus Christ. We are the Light of the world, and the Salt of the earth. You must re-discover who you are. Rev. 2:4-5: Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works (Return), or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. We will not be saved by our presidents or by our own power, military or economy. As the empires of history have perished so shall we unless we remember, repent and return as Jeremiah also told us in Jer. 18.

2. Teach these truths of our heritage to your children and grandchildren. Remember Psalm 78. They will not learn this stuff in school or on the TV, unless they go to a Christian school. Do your children know the 10 commandments? The Lord’s Prayer? The 23rd Psalm. Do they know the Romans Road? Memorize them together as a family. Gallop says that 85% of church goers believe in the 10 Commandments but only 15% could name as many as 5 of them.

3. Pray. I don’t believe we can turn back the clock but I do believe God gave us a formula for a spiritual awakening and revival. 2 Chron. 7:13-14 says, "When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

4. I want to use this time to pray for our children, our nation, our leaders, let’s pray for a national revival as Abraham Lincoln recommended.

"And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.

And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!"

Let’s Pray

Read other thoughtful writings by Pastor Gary Buchman